Iambic and Trochaic Rhythm in Jieyang (Southern Min)

Suki Yiu


This paper examines the application of the Iambic/Trochaic Law to complex tone languages like Jieyang (Teochew, Southern Min). With bidirectional tone sandhi on top of its six-tone inventory, duration and intensity measurements were obtained and fitted into Linear Mixed Effects Regression models to inspect whether duration and intensity contrasts of the two sandhi types match the predictions based on the Law. Results confirmed an interaction between rhythmic type and sandhi type, and that prominence indicated by duration and intensity contrasts largely behaves the way as predicted by the Law. This suggests that tone sandhi can be metrically-motivated via duration and intensity, contributing to the rhythmic organization of tone languages altogether.

This paper has provided novel support for metrical prominence of tone languages based on the Iambic/Trochaic Law, adding complex tone languages and production results to the recent literature on rhythmic groupings.


Iambic/Trochaic Law; bidirectional tone sandhi; rhythmic groupings; tone and stress interaction; Teochew; Jieyang

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/amp.v7i0.4480

Copyright (c) 2019 Suki Yiu